50 shades of beige

[twitter]How do you know when you’ve found “the one”?

As we get back into the search for a nanny, we are back looking at an international to help us out. Most often, that means a Filipina nanny looking to take advantage of the Live-In Caregiver Program that can fast track their immigration status if they spend a few years working as a domestic.

I’m going to generalize, but the nannies we’ve interviewed so far are all just 50 shades of beige. They are quiet. They are polite. They are helpful. There is absolutely nothing to make them stand out from each other.

So how do you know when you’ve found “the one”?

Nannying for our family will not be a difficult task. My wife and I both work flexible schedules that see at least one of us home by 4 o’clock everyday. Charlie is in school 2 half days a week, and by September that will move to 5 half days a week. Zacharie is in school full-time. We just need someone to be there for half a dozen hours a day to make sure the kids are safe, entertained, and happy. Easy peasy.

But finding that person with the spark of creativity, enthusiasm for our children, and passion to help them learn has been difficult. Like I said, everyone is polite, kind, generous, and any other positive adjective you could use, but they’re also very passive.

Perhaps it’s a cultural thing. As we are discovering, this passive, beige attitude can lend itself to abuse. We are hearing from nannies that are working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. They are expected to follow the family to their vacation home on weekends and look after the kids (and their friend’s kids) while the adults go out.

We are hearing stories of nannies who work for parents that are on call, and will often get last minute demands for working 14 hour days without getting any overtime. There are stories of verbal abuse, and not getting paid timely.

They are the sort of stories that make you think of slavery, to be honest.

We interviewed a nanny last night, and she was so sweet – but she kept calling me “Sir.” It was weird. I don’t want a servant, I just want some help. Sure, I’m the employer, but I don’t want to be “the boss” – I want them to feel a part of our family.

Our caregiver will not have it hard, but I still want someone with a spark. Perhaps that’s why our past 2 nannies have been born and raised Canadians. They were easy to communicate with, and had enthusiasm for the job – for a period of time. The fact that we are now looking for our 4th nanny in 18 months has forced us to change things up and look for someone who is seeking a long term opportunity.

We are looking for an international with the hopes of giving someone the opportunity at a better life. They chose the Live In Caregiver Program to bring their family to Canada to have more opportunity. Our job description is easy, and we treat the people who live with us with respect – if we could only find someone with a spark.dadcamp fire

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